Merw Ruins (World Heritage)

Turkmenistan, Turkmenia, officially Turkmen Turkmenistan Respublikasy, German Republic of Turkmenistan, state in southwest Central Asia with (2019) 5.9 million residents; The capital is Ashkhabad.


Turkmenistan borders the Caspian Sea to the west, Kazakhstan to the northwest, Uzbekistan to the north, northeast and east, Afghanistan to the south and Iran to the southwest.

Turkmenistan is predominantly occupied by the Turan lowlands (almost four fifths of the country), which stretches between the Caspian Sea in the west and the Amu Darya and the border with Uzbekistan in the north and east; it consists mainly of the Karakum desert (80% of the territory) and is 100-200 m above sea level, on the Caspian Sea partly below sea level (up to 110 m below sea level in the Sarygamyschsenke and 81 m below sea level in the Aktschakaya valley). In the southwest (border with Iran) Turkmenistan is part of the Kopet Dag Mountains (in the Reza 2,942 m above sea level); this area is very prone to earthquakes. To the west form the plateau of Turkmenbaschi as well as the Small and Large Balchan (1,881 m above sea level) the northwest continuation of the Kopet-Dag , while the extreme northwest still reach the foothills of the flat limestone Ust-Yurt plateau. In the east, the Karakum desert rises to the Badchys (up to 1,267 m above sea level) and Karabil heights (up to 984 m above sea level). The highest point in Turkmenistan is the Kugitangtau chain (foothills of the Hissar Mountains) in the far east, at 3,139 m above sea level (Ayrybaba). The river with the most water is the Amu Darya on the northern border, other rivers are Murgab , Tedschen and Atrek. Visit for geography of Asia.


The climate is distinctly continental. The summers are hot and dry (mean July temperature 28 ° C in the northeast and 32 ° C in the south), the winters are mild (mean January temperature of −5 ° C in the northeast to 4 ° C in the southwest). However, there are also extreme temperatures of 50 ° C in summer and -33 ° C in winter. Characteristic are significant daily temperature differences, long daily sunshine, low humidity and low amounts of precipitation, which increase depending on the altitude from north to south and south-east (in the lowlands of Turan 75–150 mm, in the mountainous south and south-east part up to 400 mm in the Year); its maximum is in spring (March / April) and early summer.


The Karakum has only sparse vegetation made up of saxaul , mugwort , brine and tamarisk. Gallery forest (Tugai) grows along the large rivers, and reeds in floodplains. In the mountains there are only steppes up to the greatest heights. The mountain foot oases on the edge of the Kopet-Dag go back to intensive artificial irrigation.

Parthian fortresses of Nisa (World Heritage)

The Parthian kings ruled from the 3rd century BC. BC to the 3rd century AD over a large empire from the Euphrates to the Indus. Ruins of a Parthian residence and houses were discovered in Nisa, which provide information about the way of life and construction of the Parthians.

Parthian fortresses of Nisa: facts

Official title: Parthian fortresses of Nisa
Cultural monument: So far only partially excavated fortifications of the former residence of the Parthian kings (Arsacids) in today’s Turkmenistan, at the foot of the Kopet-Dag mountain; residential town on a hill with acropolis from pre-Arsakid times (New Nisa); royal arsakid fortress Alt-Nisa with palace and temple buildings, round hall, massive adobe tower, rectangular corridors as well as storerooms (e.g. wine cellars) and treasure rooms (e.g. building with inner courtyard and nine elongated, sealed rooms); Protection of town and residence by mighty mud brick walls; Finds of inscriptions of the palace administration (registration notes) made by pottery shards (ostraka), marble and terracotta statues as well as ivory rhyta (by Greek hand, partly worked on site); Abandonment of Old Nisa in the 3rd century, existence from New Nisa to the Islamic period,
Continent: Asia
Country: Turkmenistan
Location: approx. 15 km southwest of Ashkhabad
Appointment: 2007
Meaning: Testimony to one of the most powerful and influential ancient civilizations; cultural interface between Central Asia and the Mediterranean area with Greek and Roman influences; outstanding archaeological finds of artistic architecture with political and religious functions

Parthian fortresses of Nisa: history

around 247 BC Chr. The original Iranian tribe of the Parthians founded an empire under Arsakes I (namesake of the Parthian kings of the Arsacids) when Parthia fell from the Seleucids
210 BC Chr. Renewed recognition of the supremacy of the Seleucids during the eastern campaign of Antiochus III, the great
around 170 BC Chr. Renewed defection of the Parthians and expansion of their rule to western Iran and Mesopotamia under Mithridates I.
approx. 124 BC Chr. Securing the supremacy of the Parthians in Iran and in Mesopotamia under Mithridates II.
since 69 BC Chr. Conflicts with the Roman Empire over Armenia
53 BC Chr. After the border treaties were broken (with the Euphrates as the borderline) by Crassus, the Romans were defeated at Karrhai
20 BC Chr. Recognition of Roman sovereignty in Armenia
63 Agreement of Rhandeia on the shared status of Armenia (Parthian secondary school under Roman sovereignty)
2nd century Further disputes with the Romans over influence in Syria and Armenia
224 Defeat of Artabanus V and absorption of the Parthian Empire by the Persian Empire of the Sassanids

Merw Ruins (World Heritage)

The oasis city of Merw in the Karakum desert was a junction on the Silk Road, once the capital of the Seljuk sultan Sandjar and a spiritual center of the Islamic world. The remains document more than 4000 years of settlement and cultural history of past civilizations. Its heyday was in the 11th and 12th centuries.

Merw Ruins: Facts

Official title: Ruins of the ancient city of Merw
Cultural monument: Archaeological site east of Mary, Turkmenistan; small provincial capital in Achaemenid times; Oasis city and important station on the Silk Road on the Murgab delta; Traces of settlement since the Neolithic; Remains of 4,000 years of human history; numerous monuments: parts of the Parthian city fortifications (2nd / 1st century BC) and workshops; Mausoleum for Sandschar (mid-12th century) with surrounding arched gallery and high drum (dome not preserved); furthermore remains of palace-like buildings and mausoleums from the 15th and 16th centuries.
Continent: Asia
Country: Turkmenistan
Location: Giaur Kala, about 30 km east of today’s Mary
Appointment: 1999
Meaning: Testimony to bygone cultures from several millennia in Central Asia

Merw Ruins (World Heritage)